The personal meaning of romantic relationships for young people with psychosis

Cara Redmond*, Michael Larkin, Chris Harrop

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Romantic relationships are of particular importance to young people, and play a key role in the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Psychosis typically develops during late adolescence or early adulthood, a crucial period for gaining romantic experience. The significance of these relationships for young people with psychosis has never been explored. Eight participants were interviewed about their experiences and perceptions of romantic relationships using a semi-structured interview. The research was conducted using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Five overarching themes emerged, suggesting that participants experienced conflict regarding romantic relationships, as they considered such relationships incompatible with psychosis, whilst they also associated them with normality and recovery. Relationships were perceived to be risky, and participants were concerned with strategies for reducing these risks. Respondents typically perceived themselves to have a relative lack of experience and resources, making it more difficult for them to engage in romantic relationships. As romantic relationships are associated with a range of personal and social benefits, young people who have experienced psychosis may benefit from services supporting them in negotiating stigma and facilitating their involvement in romantic relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-170
Number of pages20
JournalClinical child psychology and psychiatry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010


  • Early intervention
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Psychosis
  • Qualitative
  • Young people


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